Spaghetti and Meatballs – vegetarian style

A good friend of mine was given a very strict diet to counter some health issues and as we set about going through the lists of what she couldn’t eat and what she could, she responded to much of it with not just no but hell no.  Squash?  No way!  Black beans?  Not a chance in hell!  Lettuce?  Think again!  So I struggled with trying to help compose some meals she might actually eat that would meet her dietary needs.  For the record, it is a very strict diabetic diet – no white rice, no pasta, no carbs, no pop, no beef, limited amounts of lean chicken or turkey, no fruits past noon, and pretty much all the good veggies she could desire.  Despite her resounding hell no’s, I went ahead and made her spaghetti and meatless balls with a spaghetti sauce and fed it to my picky eater daughter to get approval before I brought it to my friend.  It went over well with not only my daughter, but my friend as well and several others at school who had to try a bite.


1 cup dry black beans

1/4 cup oregano, crushed

2 Tablespoons thyme, crushed

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground

1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

  • Soak the beans on a cookie sheet over night, covering them in water and then saran wrap.
  • Drain the beans and place them over low to medium heat, covering just slightly with water and cook until tender.
  • Process beans in a blender on puree or with a hand mixer until a thick dough-like consistency.
  • Add in spices and hand knead.
  • Roll into balls.
  • Add olive oil to skillet and brown over medium heat, turning often.


1 1-2 pound spaghetti squash

1/2 teaspoon cracked sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Prick the squash with a fork all over.
  • Lay squash in loaf pan or other oven-safe dish.
  • Cook for one hour.
  • Remove from heat and allow squash to cool to touch.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice squash in half length wise.
  • Scoop out fibers and seeds.
  • Using a fork, scrape along the meat of the squash, creating spaghetti strands.
  • Set onto a cookie sheet or cutting board and allow to air dry for about an hour.


2 tomatoes

  • In oven preheated to 350, place both tomatoes into an oven-safe dish and cook until blackened.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Once cooled, chop and set aside.

Layer spaghetti onto serving dish, scooping spoonfuls of sauce on top, then arrange balls on top.

Serves 2.


5 Comments to “Spaghetti and Meatballs – vegetarian style”

  1. Damn Tif, that looks wonderful! Does the squash taste like squash tho? I was thinking about useing squash instead of spagetti but I don’t think my kids will eat it fi its tastes like veggies.

    • If you touch it up with salt and a little olive oil, it really masks the bland squash taste. The key really is seasoning this up well to mask the fact that it is not really carbs and beef. The tongue smells thyme, oregano and basil and you will automatically think Italian. My youngest is my picky eater Michelle and she scarfed it down – she was my test dummy ;) The boys will love it – trust me!

  2. I could see myself eating this and I hate vegetables. Tks

    • That’s what my friend said too and it is proof that the magic is in the seasoning. It’s all very filling too which is nice so you walk away feeling full and yet have ate a healthy dish.

  3. Great recipe

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